Research shows we borrow to fund dental care

Credit cards, borrowing from friends and family and even pay day loans have been listed as common ways to pay for dental bills over £200, according to a recent survey of 5,000 UK adults published today by healthcare provider Simplyhealth.

As the UK continues to feel the financial pinch it seems that looking after our dental health is forcing us further into debt. Whilst a lucky 62% of adults haven’t received a dental bill over £200 in the last year, of those that have, 40% used a credit card, more than one in ten used a payday or bank loan (11%) and 6% borrowed from friends or family to meet the cost of their dental treatment.

James Glover, Spokesperson for Simplyhealth comments: “Our survey shows that over half (52%) of individuals are worried about being able to afford their dental care in the future and 28% of people are not visiting the dentist more often because they can’t afford it. Worryingly still, one in five wouldn’t pay to replace their teeth if they fall out. Rather than go into debt or risk losing teeth, people would benefit from putting aside a small amount every month to help cover the cost of visiting the dentist.

“There are a number of health cash plans and dental plans available that help people to spread the cost of their dental check ups and treatment, ensuring that individuals are able to look after their oral health, even when finances are tight.”

Michael Thomas, dental advisor says: “Although the message to visit the dentist regularly is getting through, a third of us still aren’t going as often as we should, with some avoiding the dentist for over a decade!

“It is really important that people continue to have regular check ups. Dentists are not only there to check the health of your teeth and gums but it is quite often the case that they spot the first signs of more serious issues such as mouth cancer. With just under a quarter of people admitting that they would not change their current dental habits even if they knew that poor oral health could be linked to more serious health conditions, the need to visit the dentist regularly is even more apparent.”

Simplyhealth helps nearly four million people with their healthcare needs. The Simply Cash Plan or Simply Dental Plan allows individuals to claim money back towards the cost of dental check-ups, treatment and emergencies. These plans entitle individuals to claim for as many treatments as they need up to an annual limit. Individuals simply pay a monthly premium and once the appointment has been attended the money can be claimed back by completing a claim form and sending off the receipt. For further information please visit www.simplyhealth.co.uk.


Notes to Editor

  • A copy of Simplyhealth’s personal finance dental factsheet as well as interviews with Michael Thomas, case studies and a spokesperson from Simplyhealth are available upon request
  • All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from OnePoll.  Total sample size was 5,000 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 25 March – 2 April 2013. The survey was carried out online.
  • All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines.

About Simplyhealth

  • We became Simplyhealth in 2009 after bringing together HSA, BCWA, LHF, HealthSure, Totally Active, our family of health companies have joined together over the last ten years to form Simplyhealth
  • In December 2011, we acquired Denplan Limited, the UK's leading dental payment plan specialist
  • We’ve been providing healthcare solutions for 140 years, dedicated to serving our customers and patients through a variety of cash plans, dental plans, private medical insurance, self funded health plans and mobility and living aids
  • Simplyhealth is a trading name of Simplyhealth Access, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority
  • Simplyhealth as it stands today, now covers nearly four million people with health plans (more than any other company) and helps 20,000 companies with their employees’ health
  • Simplyhealth is committed to making a positive impact on its communities. Each year, we donate over £1 million to health related charities and causes
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